My monome's new best friend

  • I dropped some hints in another thread about my "top secret" midi percussion controller. Well, here it is:

    http://zendrum.com/forums/index.php?topic=1041.new;topicseen#new

    It has come to be known as the Zendrum ZAP. I was fortunate enough to be somewhat involved in the R&D process on this one. I had gotten spoiled by the interactivity of the monome community and decided to contact the great folks at Zendrum about building me a custom controller. After some discussion, they decided to make it into a full production model.

    I was also fortunate enough to purchase the prototype for some testing and further development. Let me say that this will blow any other desktop percussion controller out of the water. It's monome-level thought, love, design, and quality in a drum controller!

    I'm not plugging this for ad reasons, as I have no affiliation with Zendrum. I just believe the world needs a lot more companies like monome and Zendrum. They listen to what users have to say and act on it immediately.

    I encourage anyone looking for a controller of this nature to get a ZAP. You'll get an amazing product with a lifetime guarantee and some bonus good karma points for helping small, innovative, eco-friendly companies grow. In a world of corporate gigantism, these are the folks who need and deserve our support.

  • Can't wait until it gets a proper page on the Zendrum site.

    I played on some of their stuff at a NAMM show a while ago, and it is really nice. The wood case looks really great too. Zendrum is nice quality all around...

    Some videos of it in action would be really wonderful (especially being used in conjunction with that beautiful 256 it is nestled next to!).

  • I'm finally going to get some video shot this weekend. I'll get it edited and up early next week...

    Basically I'm recording into mlr from the PX-7 that is being triggered by the zendrum. Mostly improv, starting with no pre-recorded or pre-sequenced material. The faderfox is controlling mlr (I know, overkill...).

    Great fun!

  • I use to play the ZenDrum all the time in college! We had a electronic percussion ensemble, at the time the only one in existence. A bunch of drummers and midi controllers playing has a whole band. We, with the exception of 2 faculty members, were all percussion students.

    http://www.crosstalk.arizona.edu/

    Here is some video too, using the Zendrums to some different sounds!

    http://www.crosstalk.arizona.edu/videos/Freedom.mov

    My close friend wrote the tune for the group and I am playing the Yamaha DTX Drum kit. This was done back in 2002 I think?

    I wasn't a big fan of the trigger feel. The Zendrum is cool, but I think an MPC or an MPD24 is better, you get knobs and faders too. The programming is also limited on the Zendrum. The Zendrum ZAP could be totally different, it for sure looks dope, but prob pricey too! Maybe these are better to incorporate in a live performance situation vs. the home studio. Just my 2 cents, peace


    Meoff

  • Interesting video. I'd give anything for a couple hours running around that set banging on stuff. oh..... the days of percussion ensembles...

    Is that a malletKat? I couldn't see a clear view of the logo. A MIDI keyboard like that would be wonderful, although they are always a little pricey.

    then again, you can never beat the sound of rosewood...

    Oh, and I think the ZAP is going for $999 (i think that is what the site said).

  • it's great to see a custom project get made part of their public lineup. thanks for the post!

  • > Maybe these are better to incorporate in a live performance situation vs. the home studio.

    Yeah, I guess it's a matter of personal preference. The Zendrums are clearly the winner when it comes to build quality. And oh, that hand oiled finish! As far as the triggers, they are very hot. As a drummer, I find that to be the quality that makes all the difference. I want the same level of sensitivity I get from a real snare drum or cymbal. To me, the rubber pads have to be beat on to get sound out, and have very limited dynamic range. I think the video I shoot this weekend will illustrate the extreme dynamic range of the Zendrum triggers...we'll see.

    No knobs or sliders, but to me they belong on a controller designed for something other than percussion. And I don't know about the programming comparison. The Zendrum allows 16 different note mappings, program change, max velocity level, noise floor, midi channel, variable velocity curves, and a few other parameters. Plus the ZAP has three 1/4" trigger inputs and a sustain pedal input. It also has midi in and out.

    And yup, $999.

  • the zendrum forum seems to suggest that its bus powered through the midi cable? Is this true? Your photos have 2 lines running out of it, so im not sure. Very nice tho'...

  • it looks pretty and I understand that it's very responsive to touch but I can't imagine paying 999 for something that my padkontrol does for less than a quarter of the price. but then again I'm not very pro at percussion so maybe thats it.

  • > the zendrum forum seems to suggest that its bus powered through the midi cable? Is this true?

    The other Zendrum models are powered through the midi cable, but the zap is not. It comes with a nice wall wart power adapter that threads onto the jack. It does come with a really nice midi cable with neutrik plugs.

    > it looks pretty and I understand that it's very responsive to touch but I can't imagine paying 999 for something that my padkontrol does for less than a quarter of the price.

    Yeah, this thing is definitely intended to be used by people who are drummers, no doubt. Likewise, I'm not a keyboard player, so I couldn't imagine paying more than a hundred bucks or so for a little keyboard controller. In that respect I totally understand what you're saying.

    However, if someone would have asked me a couple of years ago if I would be willing to pay $1400 for a wooden box with lots of little light-up buttons on it, I would have told them they're crazy... ;)

  • damn you h|s! I was quite happy and satisfied after my 128, but ive had visions of big velocity sensitive tappable pads dancing in my head these past few days! How's the video coming along? Im keen, im sad to say, as i fear for my bank account...

  • and, have you given much thought to using it melodically? 19 pads gives an interesting range of chord structures, i would think...

  • @ lokey:

    Working on the video now. I'm trying to squeeze it in with my currently immense workload. I hope to get it up tonight or tomorrow.

    And that's a big yes on the melodic tip. The video will show a bit of that. I've got a C blues scale built that I was triggering some synth sounds with out of my PX-7.

    Oh yes, good stuff indeed!

  • oh, goodie. Looking forward to't..

  • looking forward to the vid. that zen drum looks very slick.

  • Video here:

    http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=515&page=1#Item_0

    More to come!